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DAYTON — I suspect I was not alone in greeting the announcement that Café Boulevard would morph into Boulevard Haus, a German restaurant, with considerable skepticism. German food? Really?
I am skeptical no more.
Please note that Lily's Bistro just opened in May 2013. All of the reviews before this one are for the restaurant that used to be at this address and which closed a while back.
I haven't eaten at Lily's Bistro yet, so don't have an opinion, but I didn't want visitors to be misled.
Here's the real "Critic's Review"
By Amelia Robinson
Emily Mendenhall and her staff at Lily’s Bistro spent the past few days serving family members and friends a limited selections from its food and drink menu.
Tonight will be showtime for the Historic Oregon District establishment featuring seasonal fare.
The restaurant at 329 E. Fifth St. — the former site of Boulevard Haus/Cafe Boulevard — will celebrate its official grand opening 5 to 10 p.m. today, May 9, Mendenhall said.
She wanted Lily’s to open in time for Urban Night, a ‘street party’ in and near downtown Friday.
Executive Chef Mariah Gahagan is prepared to serve “fresh, fun seasonal food,” she said.
“I think of it as new American food,” said Mendenhall, who will manage the restaurant owned by her parents,
Lisa and Robert Mendenhall. “We will change the menu four times a year.”
The Mendenhalls also own Blind Bob’s, a nearby restaurant and music venue.
Emily Mendenhall said the restaurant is inspired by two others she worked at — Cochon in News Orleans and Jane’s in Chicago. Mendenhall said there will be a high level of service.
“We will make serious food without being too serious,” she said.
The space has been transformed.
Boulevard Haus’ German-theme has been replaced with a light, airy feel. The walls in the 42 seat main dining room are now light green and decorated with framed prints.
The bar area is now blue.
The back patio, one of Dayton’s most attractive, can seat as many as 50 and a semi-private dining area features a long wooden table.
The front patio will be dog-friendly, Mendenhall pointed out.
She said highlights of the menu include the gourmet deviled eggs ,$7; Ohio nachos (house made potato chips topped with Gouda Alfredo, melted blue cheese and scallions), $7; a charcuterie plate, $12; surf ‘n turf (soy glazed Berkshire pork belly and seared scallops with wilted spinach, pickled cauliflower and miso mousseline sauce), $24 and a sorted fresh salad, $6 to $10.
One of Mendenhall’s favorites is a mix of chopped orange segments, sugar snap peas, fennel, mushrooms and asparagus tossed in ginger-miso vinaigrette.
The most expensive dish is the $25 grilled lamb chops served with couscous, asparagus and a red wine reduction.
Mendenhall said Lily’s will serve locally produced food when possible, including fresh free range chicken.
The food here is absolutely fantastic.
The wait to get a table is absolutley awful (especially when you can see plenty of empty tables) - the person doing the seating is horrible. The wait staff is very good…
Once you get in and seated, hold on! The food is worth the inconvenience to us - may not be for others. Need to do some tweaking on the staff w/customer service.
I tried with friends and my husband several times...but for me the food is disappointing. I don't know how the Schnitzel are made in Stuttgart...where Eva comes from, but in the rest of Germany you will find very good prepared ones. Also I tried the Cabbage Roll twice.. it was a nightmare. I am pritty sure, every housewife can cook it better.
Best regards Claudia
My family and I have been here several times and we have yet to be disappointed. The food is great and flavorful; the service is wonderful; and the menu has great choices. Don't skip dessert - they're fantastic! My 3 year old son loves the spatzel, and for a 3 year old to not be picky, that's a win!
This was my first experience in any authentic German cuisine and it just blew me away. I liked the ambiance at Boulevard Haus The place was full, and the service was fast and the waitress did a great job explaining what was on tap and on the menu. I ordered the Schnitzel Wiener. I'm not much a pork fan, but this dish was delicious. Washed it down with some Hofbrau beer and it was the perfect blend of German Hedonism. They do give you quite a bit of food for reasonable prices. I was stuffed and felt like I was carrying a child in my belly on my way out. The owner Eva Brcic Christian (hope I got the spelling right) came to our table and made us feel at home. For dessert the owner actually gave us a dessert on the house, it was a Banana Crepe which was to die for! Overall, I had a great time. I highly recommend this place. Thanks Boulevard Haus, thank you Eva!
We are very lucky to have an authentic German restaurant in our city, especially one as good as Boulevard Haus!
friendly staff. Food and service was excellent. We had an appetizer, main course, dessert and drinks. the place is worth a visit,it is very authentic - we will be back.
I am from Germany and a friend told me to go to Boulevard Haus to try it. I must say I was very skeptical at first but it was excellent. We had the pretzel bread first, which was addicting. We then had the In Haus smoked Salmon which was probably my favorite and my husband had the Jaeger Schnitzel and I had the Wiener Schnitzel and our friends had the Schweinebraten and the Pretzel Burger. We were all blown away how good the food was. Our server was also so nice and gave us great service. We also had original Hofbrau Bier from Munchen Germany which was the best and great Martinis. At the end we had the Cream Puff with Peanut Butter and Chocolate and the Crepes, and a Chocolate Cake and even the coffee I have to say reminded me of Germany. I also have to say, it didn't look like a cheesy German restaurant, and it played traditional and contemporary German music which was refreshing. the Ambiance was warm and inviting and the restaurant was very clean. I would recommend this restaurant highly if you want excellent German food. Oh and the owner Eva was soo nice, she is from Germany and made our event perfect. thank you, Christina
I took a guest for lunch to the Boulevard Haus on Veterans' Day expecting to enjoy some authentic and savory German fare. We are both of German heritage and have eaten at restaurants serving good German food. Of course, you don't have to have any experience with German food to recognize and enjoy a good Wiener Schnitzel.
We both ordered it and were very disappointed. The Schnitzel was tough, about 2 millimeters thick, and encased in an even tougher breading. Given the brittleness and high fat content of the breading, the Schnitzel appeared to have been overcooked in a deep fryer at Long John Silvers instead of gently in a pan.
My sauteed vegetables, on the other hand, weren't cooked enough (I should be able to push a fork through cooked vegetables with ease and not have to grind them with my molars like a herbivore.)
My guest had chosen German Potato Salad and Red Cabbage for sides (Her Schnitzel was no better). The potato salad was sweet and not anything like a good hearty German Potato Salad. She remarked that the only good part of the meal was the Red Cabbage, probably because it was a good brand from a jar or can, and not made at the restaurant.
I told the waiter about my displeasure with the Schnitzel & Vegetables. My guest expressed her dissatisfaction with her meal too. He merely apologized and suggested that I complete the customer comment card that would accompany the bill. No staff at the restaurant offered to make amends for our poor meals even though we were pleasant when expressing our extreme disappointment. I wasted $30 (just for 2 Schnitzels) for absolutely miserable meals, fuel, and the time to/from/in the restaurant. “I'm sorry” is the best the Boulevard Haus had to offer.
The restaurant was clean and had a pleasant atmosphere. The service was perfunctorily good on a not busy day.
I left the restaurant hungry - having set my plate aside after eating a few bites of the wretched Schnitzel & about half the vegetables – intent on never returning.
The Haus has some style and no substance. - Nein Danke !
This place is SO NOT GERMAN - much less good food. I read Mark Fisher's review and decided to take a few friends who appreciate good German food. First of all he suggested the Smoked Salmon to start. It was so fishy smelling with the taste of old fish left in your mouth, - we could not eat it. The Chicken in Riesling was incredibly heavy with hardly anything else in it - oh, it did have some very grisly pieces of chicken in it. We wanted some sauerkraut and were dying for some good rosti potatoes. The sauerkraut had some kind of sauce (almost like a soy sauce) added to it. Made it taste over salty, like it had been in the refrig for a week - not a sauerkraut taste at all. The rosti potatoes were like eating old, dry up, flatten, large tater tots. EVERYTHING TASTED OLD. I could go on, but you get the point here... The waiter was nice, but did not seem like a professional waiter - someone filling in when short staffed. Over all - it was extremely DISAPPOINTING and not a pleasant experience. None of the 6 of us enjoyed anything other than our own company. I think Dayton needs to find some better food critics.
We went to this restaurant last night for dinner. After waiting to be even greeted at the door for 10 minutes, we almost walked out. (Mind you, probably about 5 servers walked past us in this time to the patio and didn't even acknowledge us.) When we were about to give up and leave a hostess finally came up and greeted us. The Server was pretty prompt in coming to our table and getting drink and food orders. After that, we waited almost 40 minutes for our food to come. In that time, we watched food come out of the kitchen into the window and sit for 20+ minutes before being brought out to customers. Once our food finally arrived my friends french fries were cold. The waitress took the fries she already had back to the kitchen and recooked them instead of bringing new ones....mmmmmmm. I ordered the Reuben panini which was fine. Another of my friends ordered the chicken pretzel sandwich which he only ate from being so hungry. Finally, another 20 minutes after we were done eating the server brought us our check. Overall, i would not recommend this restaurant to anyone. While some items on the menu are OK, the service is terrible. Obviously they aren't too concerned about customer service at this restaurant. The restaurant manager wouldn't even come out afterwords to speak with us. We talked with the bar manager which was very nice and tried to remedy the situation as best he could.
We just went to Boulevard Haus the other night with a large group for dinner. The food was outstanding, we had 4 people in our group from Germany who loved the food. Their martinis were excellent and we loved the patio in the back.... we will go back again and again, the pretzel burger was out of this world and the prices are very reasonable - thank you for finally bringing a German restaurant to Dayton
I had lunch at the BH today. I had the Bratwurst sandwich on the pretzel bun for $6.95 with a side of German potato salad. It was good but I was surprised when they brought the bill that I had been charged $2.95 for a side of sauerkraut. I asked the waitress about it and she said that the Bratwurst sandwich does not come with sauerkraut. I was surprised by that fact. I could not understand how a so called "German" restuarant would sell a bratwurst on a bun, plain and call it a sandwich. I explained my disappointment to the waitress and she said that she would check with the manager. She came back and said that there was nothing that she could do about it. I again explained how disappointed I was and that I could have bought a whole jar of sauerkraut at Walmart for $3.00 and that I could not understand how they could charge $2.95 for a tablespoon of sauerkraut. I also explained that I would have to consider other restuarants in the Dayton area next time. She said that she was sorry but there was nothing that she could do about it. I'm afraid that DH has lost a customer for life over $3.00. I have been to other restuarants and if I was dissatified with any part of my meal, they would refund the complete cost of my meal. If I were you and were looking for "Real" German food in the Dayton area, I would consider a ride over to Columbus to Schmidts. I plan on going there tomorrow evening for dinner. Do not go to DH, unless you want to ge gouged.
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